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How to Save Money on your Gym Membership using Health Insurance

Budgeting for Fitness

I have a confession to make:

I cancelled my gym membership for a few months… 

And it was KILLING me.  

As you know, I frugaled down last year to pay off student debt.  All the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early)  people I followed espoused getting rid of that gym membership to save money.  So, I did. 

But, I’m a gym rat… I LOVE lifting heavy weights, sweating, and being in the moment.  It’s my meditation, my release, my way of getting back in touch with me and being grateful for the life I have been given.  I go at least 4-5 times a week.

At my current job, there is a free gym provided by my health insurance, CDPHP.  This is an amazing perk.  I used this gym the last few months to get a workout in at lunch.  But, it doesn’t have the squat racks and bench presses I need for my workouts.

So, I finally bit the bullet this month and got a gym membership at this amazing body building gym next to my house.  One of my friends had mentioned to me that health insurance may chip in for the cost so I quickly googled it.  Turns out, CDPHP not only pitches in, they’ll cover the whole membership!  

How We Saved on Our Gym Membership

So, CDPHP has this awesome program that gives you $200 for the subscriber and $100 for the spouse every 6 months for a gym membership, for a total of $600 per family, per year!  All you have to do is go to 50 times in 6 months (or average 2 times per week). 

Totally doable.

Are you into crossfit, Orange Theory, or yoga? No problem.  They also reimburse for these if you get your teacher to sign your form.

Why Health Insurance Companies Do This

Why would insurance companies do this?  I’m guessing because fit people generally use less healthcare resources.  Fit people have less diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, kidney disease, and other obesity related problems.  These are the chronic conditions that most often bring people to my primary care office.  It makes sense that they would invest in keeping us healthy!

Other Health Insurance Companies

Wondering if you have a similar benefit?  The best way would be to call the number on your health insurance card and find out.  But, I know how annoying sitting on hold is.  So, I did a quick search on benefits offered by other health insurers… here’s what I found for the 5 biggest companies.  Check out the links for more details.

  1. United Health: United has a Fitness Reimbursement Program that gives $20 per month to go to the gym.  You have to go at least 12 times a month.  That’s $240 per year for going an average of 3 times per week.

  2. Anthem: Gives $200 per subscriber for working out 48 times within the plan year.  That’s less than once a week!

  3. Aetna:  Gives $200 for you and $100 for your spouse per six months, like CDPHP.  Minimum requirement is 50 visits in 6 months, which is 2 times per week.

  4. Humana:  I couldn’t find where they cover gym memberships but they do have a Go365 plan and negotiated discounts at partnering gyms.

  5. Cigna: Offers $100 per member per calendar year, with a family max of $300 per calendar year.  The only minimum I see is to be a member of a health club and Cigna for 3 months.  

  6. Finally, if you have Medicare, take advantage of the Silver Sneakers Program that offers membership to any participating gym location.  

So, now there are NO EXCUSES for not getting to the gym, FIRE walkers.  

We can get from flabby to frugally fit in no time!  

Till next time!

Standard Disclaimer: Not meant as individualized financial advice.  Images from unsplash.com.              

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